Group Visit to Albufera de Valencia

Group Visit to Albufera de Valencia

On Wednesday 7th March I was fortunate enough to be back in Albufera de Valencia, this time providing a Guided Trip for a group of 8 people from the local area. Some were experienced birders whilst others were new to the hobby and were keen to learn more.   After an introduction to the geography and habitats of Albufera we parked the van and entered a very special and protected area of the park.  The Spring morning provided beautifully clear blue skies and as we watched House Martins and Swallows passing by, it really began to feel like summer was [read more]

A brief birding trip to our local marsh.

A brief birding trip to our local marsh.

On Saturday, in between necessities such as a visit to the garden centre and the supermarket, my wife Carolina and I spent a couple of hours walking around our local marsh.  It´s always worth a look around here as there´s usually something of interest and it makes for a pleasant and easy spot of birding. As it was afternoon, the gulls that can usually be found were absent, probably out on the coast.  The usual residents, Little Egret, Cattle Egret and Grey Heron were around in good numbers.  On the drier fields were large flocks of wintering Lapwing in amongst [read more]

Bird Watching at Albufera de Valencia.

Bird Watching at Albufera de Valencia.

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of providing a guided bird watching trip to Albufera de Valencia for clients William and Val from Cumbria.  Both skilled birders, having enjoyed many overseas trips they were keen to explore the Natural Park of Albufera. Having provided a brief summary of the history and layout of the park, we drove across the northern rice fields where we saw hundreds of Little Egret and Grey Heron, and also picked out Reed Bunting and a Bluethroat.  We then moved onto one of my favourite “hidden corners” of Albufera and were immediately struck by the sheer numbers [read more]

A Guided Bird Watching Trip to Albufera de Valencia.

A Guided Bird Watching Trip to Albufera de Valencia.

Today´s trip was provided for two British birders who wanted to learn more about the extensive Natural Park of Albufera de Valencia.  Whilst the weather was dry, there was a very strong wind that limited what we would see, although a good days birding was enjoyed. Our first stop was to observe a recent controlled release of Crested Coot.  This extremely rare bird has provided a challenge to conservationists so far but hopefully this season will see some breeding success.  We enjoyed good views albeit from far enough away as not to cause a disturbance.  We then walked across an area [read more]

Half Day Trip to the Mountains of Valencia

Half Day Trip to the Mountains of Valencia

On Tuesday, I took two local British birders on a half-day trip to the mountains of Valencia. Before we set off on the short walk, we stopped for a coffee and were entertained by a pair of Short Toed Treecreepers and a group of Long Tailed Tits in the pine trees by the road. We parked the van and set off into a beautiful rocky gorge. Within just a few minutes, we spotted a Black Wheatear, a special bird for today as it was a “life tick” for both of my guests. It sat around long enough for a few [read more]

Combine Guided Bird Watching in Spain with a City Break or Beach Holiday

Combine Guided Bird Watching in Spain with a City Break or Beach Holiday

As it´s the time of year when thoughts are turning to the warmer months ahead and of holidays in the sun, we´re all thinking of how we can maximise our precious free time and of course value for our hard earned cash. These days, more people are opting for a vacation that provides the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities rather than just a beach holiday or sight-seeing trip. However, it´s often the case that to indulge in a favourite hobby whilst away, one has to opt for a specifically organised activity holiday.  Here at Valencia Birding, we recognise that such [read more]

Alpine Accentors!

Alpine Accentors!

Today´s outing was not specifically a birding trip and more of a walk to the top of one of our local mountain peaks.  Such is the beauty of the route, it´s one that we enjoy two or three times per year and today´s trip was timed to coincide with the visit of one of my favourite and most character-full of mountain birds, the Alpine Accentor. The initial walk up through the steep forest gave good views of Chaffinch, Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Robin and the beautifully marked Firecrest. This area is also a frequent haunt of Blue Rock Thrush [read more]

Winter Birding in Castilla de la Mancha

Winter Birding in Castilla de la Mancha

Today´s trip was a joint effort arranged by Valencia Birding and La Safor Ornithological Society, a Spanish group based in our local town of Gandia. The area visited was the same as that taken in on our “Steppe & Lagoons” trip and visits the high plains of Castilla de la Mancha, just over a hour´s drive from the Mediterranean coast. To make the most of the day and to have the best chance of seeing the target species we left our home base at 6.30am and after a couple of pick ups we were up on the steppe by 8.30am. [read more]

A Christmas Present of a Birding trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.

A Christmas Present of a Birding trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.

During the Christmas break, I had the pleasure of providing a trip for a lady who despite having an interest in the natural world, is new to bird watching.  The trip was bought for her as a Christmas present by her husband.  We enjoyed a super day and were treated to some beautiful sights. After the trip, she very kindly provided this account…. A couple of days ago, I had a wonderful day out bird watching in Valencia – something that none of my family thought I would do (let alone enjoy the experience). Well, it was a revelation! Probably [read more]

A Pre-Christmas Trip up onto the Steppe.

A Pre-Christmas Trip up onto the Steppe.

One of my important roles as a birding guide is to constantly visit my favoured sites as many times as possible throughout the year. This is essential in order to maintain and develop knowledge of an area and it´s changing characteristics and bird life throughout the seasons. That way, we ensure that our clients are taken to the sites that are “at their best” whenever their visit may take place. That today´s trip meant that I avoided having to go Christmas shopping only seemed to reinforce its value! Our destination was the vast upland Steppe of Castilla de la Mancha, some [read more]

El Hondo

El Hondo

Not within our usual birding area, El Hondo is a wetland reserve of major international importance, not least for it´s population of White Headed Duck and Marbled Duck.  Although not a regular venue for us, El Hondo always provides something of interest. We were fortunate to enjoy some beautiful autumn sunshine as we set off across the reserve.  Within just five minutes we were delighted to see 3 Cranes passing overhead, shortly followed by a lone Booted Eagle.  As we made our way through the reedbeds, we watched as a Marsh Harrier hunted by the shore of the lake.  We stopped and set up the [read more]

Sanderling Census of La Safor

Sanderling Census of La Safor

On Sunday 27th November we took part in the Sanderling Census of La Safor which was organised by the “Associació Ornitológica De La Safor”. The stretch of Mediterranean coastline to be studied was that between Playa de Tavernes in the north to Playa de Oliva in the south.  We grouped into 4 teams, each having a designated section of beach. Our particular area was from Marenys (just south of the port of Gandia) to Diamus.  We commenced at 0830hrs under very cloudy skies, although thankfully no wind. Sea conditions were choppy although certainly not severe. Much to subsequent amusement of our fellow birders, [read more]

An Afternoon at Albufera de Valencia

An Afternoon at Albufera de Valencia

As we had business to attend to in Valencia today, the opportunity to spend a couple of hours looking what was around Albufera couldn´t be missed. We started at the main hide, where we were greeted by a group of school children on a day trip! Although not the quiet environment that we expected, it has to be remembered that this is where the future of conservation lies. We soon attracted a small group of kids who were curious to see what the telescope was and soon had a small queue forming to watch the Flamingoes that were resting at [read more]

Diary of Bird Life in the La Drova Valley

Diary of Bird Life in the La Drova Valley

Here is a brief summary of what goes on in “our valley”.  Together with fellow birder Ian, we regularly watch our patch and from now on will use this blog to post brief records of what happens.  Full species list can be seen on the specific post. January 25th Things are a little more lively this morning. The Meadow Pipit has become a regular garden visitor of late, as are a pair of Chiffchaffs.  It´s only 1015am and in the garden we´ve already had a pair of Blackcap, a family of Long Tailed Tits, Great Tits, Spotless Starlings, a Sardinian Warbler and a female [read more]